Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

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Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004

I’m a couple of weeks late to the party, but I couldn’t let this site go without any tip o’ the hat to that remarkable philosopher and cultural _provocateur_ Jacques Derrida, who died on October 8th aged 74.
It goes without saying that Derrida’s name will forever be linked with deconstruction, the frustratingly enigmatic (and yet deceptively simple) philosophical process that his writings helped to popularise.
The Independent, The Guardian (especially so) and even The New York Times offered fitting tributes and made a fair stab at explaining the barely explainable.
Others, like James Heartfield at spiked online, have predictably failed to grasp what deconstruction actually does and what it represented for Derrida (something for which he was and always will be unfairly criticised), while the likes of this dangerous gibberish show that some people can’t even grasp the basics.
As Terry Eagleton states in his Guardian comment, most of Derrida’s critics “gave a set of bemused, bone-headed responses” to his death:
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Either they hadn’t read him, or they believed his work was to do with words not meaning what you think they do. Or it was just a pile of garbage.

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Hopefully one day, more people will understand — like Steven Johnson does. Although I’m sure Derrida himself would be pleased with the furore he’s caused; after all, in the words of the great Tim Mooney: _”Philosophy is bullshit.”_

Woeful Wednesday

Well I was supposed to stay up for Taboo Tuesday last night, but tiredness got the better of me and I fell asleep on the sofa for an hour before dragging myself to bed.
I then awoke a few hours later to find myself sick, again. I’d spent most of the previous week ill with a sore throat/cough/cold, and had thought I was on the mend. I thought wrong.
And as if that wasn’t bad enough — thinking I had set the video to tape the wrestling while I slept, the machine was in fact set to the wrong channel and recorded three hours of nothing.
I was not a happy Mac. Not a happy Mac at all.
Yesterday, however, fared slightly better. Sick as I was of being sick, I made an appointment with my GP and got a prescription for my troubles. I also took the night off work, which lifted my spirits no end, and the wrestling was repeated last night (turns out I didn’t miss much — but congrats to Shelton Benjamin all the same).
As for the next few days: I’ve got a couple of shifts at work over the weekend, and then a few days off from college (it’s ‘reading week’) so I’ll be taking it easy. Of course by that I mean reading lots of books from the library and practicing my shorthand. Of course.

Taboo Tuesday

Have you voted for Taboo Tuesday yet?
For the grapple-phobic among you, Taboo Tuesday is the first major pro wrestling show where the fans get to vote online to decide the stipulations for the matches.
I’ve just cast my ballot, and — you guessed it — I’ll be staying up tonight for the live event. Wrestling has been going through the motions lately, at least for me, but I’m all giddy at the prospect of this show.
Sure, I might have a full day of classes tomorrow, but this is the first pay-per-view the WWF has held on a weeknight in over a decade, and a concept as interesting (and as blatantly simple) as this one just might pique my interest again. I hope.
If you’ll be voting yourself, you’d better get in fast as the polls close tonight. And do yourself a favour by voting for Chris Benoit and Shelton Benjamin; you won’t be sorry.

I’m Sorry I Lied

Didn’t I say the posting drought was supposed to end?
Don’t mind that. I’ve been busier than expected, and it’s bloody tiring. The hours, it seems, are slipping away with alarming rapidity. Meanwhile, my mind is shifting hard between bouts of intense concentration during the week, and numbing boredom at the weekend. Is it any wonder, therefore, that I haven’t been around this site much lately?
There’s no way I can keep up working weekends for much longer, as I’m just losing valuable research and writing time, not to mention rest for my weary brain. (Scoff if you like, but studying is hard work!)
I’m letting myself down, because I love what I’m doing study-wise, but I can’t yet commit to it as wholeheartedly — and as single-mindedly — as I’d like. And I’m also letting you down, dear reader, by allowing this site to go fallow; I don’t like it any more than you do.
However, while I’d love to change this situation for the better right now, I’m afraid that won’t be happening until the end of the month. So for the time being, things will remain on the quiet side around here. I’m sorry I lied.